As we pass the middle of this year, I’d like to update our blog readers (we very much appreciate our 600 readers per month), with how we’re doing in Career Services and a bit about our history.
Walden Career Services began in January 2007. First our website was built to span a career development process usable at any point in one’s career. These process components are: 1) assessing one’s interests, values and skills; 2) researching job opportunities, employment trends and professional associations; 3) writing a accomplishment-focused resume and a strong curriculum vitae; 4) networking; 5) interviewing; and 6) salary and offer information.
Career Services has come a long way since launching our website. Last year Career Services hired two very talented Career Services Advisors. Dina Bergren works with students in Psychology, Mental Health Counseling, and Education. Nicolle Skalski works with students in Public Policy and Administration, Management, Health and Nursing.
In the first quarter of this year, Dina and Nicolle handled nearly 500 counseling appointments, our website received nearly 9000 hits, our blog received more than 2,100 visits, and we hosted more than 400 webinar attendees, including students, alumni, prospective students and international faculty. Nicolle even delivered one of our webinars in Spanish, a unique opportunity.
What are the services we offer? Our mission is education, coaching and support. With more than 40,000 students all over the US and beyond, we aim to “teach you to fish so you can fish for a lifetime.” During individual advising appointments, our Career Services Advisors discuss your career goals, discuss branding and self-marketing strategies, review resumes and other application materials and direct you to helpful websites, professional associations and networking resources such as Walden University’s LinkedIn group with its nearly 2000 members. As you can imagine, with more than 40,000 students located all over the country with diverse experiential levels and varied interests, it is not feasible to offer “placement services.” Moreover, Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute, states that 80% of jobs are filled through the hidden job market- it’s not just what you know but also who you know and what impression you have made on them.
To share what is working for students who have successfully enhanced their careers, we offer “Student Success Stories” on our blog. Quite often, students succeed through innovative techniques outside traditional job search routes – like impressing someone during a practicum. We also work hard to stay up on the latest trends, “practicing what we preach” to students. For example, we did a Walden Service Network project to develop and deliver a LinkedIn webinar to nearly 40 unemployed job seekers here in Minneapolis. We later adapted this content for our most recent Career Lecture Series webinar, attended by more than 250 students. We’re also very involved in our professional association – the Minnesota Career Development Association. Dina, Nicolle and I have all hosted MCDA monthly RoundTable discussions on career development topics for our colleagues and Dina is co-coordinator of the monthly RoundTable series.
If you’re finding it challenging to schedule an appointment with us via the Career Services WIRE, it’s because the number of Career Services appointments has increased by 250% in the last 18 months as word spreads about our services. Please persist in getting on our schedule and if you have a tight deadline on an issue, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
Thank you for your support and interest in our blog and our services.
Lisa Cook, Director of Career Services.